In September we are featuring the strategy of Personal Reinvention. It is based off of research that I have done for the past few years, and I am thrilled to share it! Imagine if school leaders incorporated this kind of personal development in the curriculum, so that schools became not only a place where kids can learn the facts, but a place where they can discover their purpose and dreams. For that to happen, the faculty and administrators first need to go through the process themselves because it’s tough to teach what you don’t know.
Good News: You can discover your unique genius, you can become worldclass at doing your unique genius, and you can even figure out a way to get paid well for doing what you love.
By personal reinvention I'm suggesting you can redefine yourself in terms of who you are, where you want to go, and what you want to be. One of the most powerful decisions a person can make is that conscious decision to improve him or herself and go a new direction. Sometimes that happens when you’ve reached a low point in your life, and other times it happens when you’ve decided you want more and crave a purpose. Administrators, faculty, and staff especially want meaning--they want to feel like they’re making a difference with students and in their community.
I dare you to discover your unique genius and challenge the status quo by asking: Yabwi, YA But What If?
What are your dreams? It amazes me how many people are stumped by that question. What are your dreams? What do you want to do? When it comes to the end of your life, of what do you want to be proud?
When I was 42, I decided to go through this process. I decided that I wanted something more significant in life. So, I talked to seven people who have been remarkably successful and that I respect. They had a great deal of peace and joy, and they had ownership of what they were doing. I asked them how they came to that level of success, and for some tips in pursuing a big vision for myself. They all said the same thing: find your unique genius--find what you are particularly gifted to do--become world-class at it, and then find the best way to monetize it.
This advice led me to discovering that my unique genius is: Reinvention, especially of people and schools. That's what I love to do! By reinvention, I mean helping people discover a fresh start, new opportunties, greater success. My goal is to make this an approachable process, and for you to make it part of your school advisory or counseling efforts so that students learn how to find their unique genius as well.
What are you waiting for? What’s holding you back from pursuing the life you always dreamed of?
The past is over. Done. Finished. You now have permission to redefine yourself regardless of what anyone else may say. Some people will pull you back because they themselves fear change, but don’t let them stop you. As you change, you’ll have the opportunity to influence others, and they will want to copy you. They will want what you have, and that’s okay! As you perfect your genius, you are going to refine how you use it and will become even better at creating great value for others. You will create things that don’t even exist today. Your reinvention will involve reconsidering spiritual, physical, emotional, social, and/or financial aspects of you.
The Process of Reinvention
The journey to discovering your unique genius involves collecting some valuable data about yourself. Begin with a strengths assessment. I recommend StrengthsFinder.com, where you will receive a report on your strengths that includes how to build on them and how to surround yourself with people who compliment your strengths. (Yes, buy the Strengths Based Leadership book, it has a code in the back to take the assessment) There is no such thing as a well-rounded person, but you can assemble a well-rounded team! The goal of this exercise is to find what is unique about you--you’re building a database about yourself and your strengths.
Next you will identify best habits, the things you do that contribute most to your success. This may be getting up early and going running, or planning your day the night before. What are the top 20 best habits that define you and make you most successful?
The third category of data that you will need is a journal of your in-the-zone moments. Your In-the-Zone Journal will help you track those times when you’re doing something, and all of a sudden it feels like you can’t miss. Whatever you’re doing, you’re gaining energy and feeling like “This is awesome!” Why not keep a journal of these moments so that you can get in-the-zone more often?
The goal of these first three exercises is to re-adjust your vision. We are going to use real data about you to recreate your mental self-image. Once you build this new picture of yourself, you will then be well on your way to discovering your unique genius.